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Snippet #1954188

located in Calisma, a part of Calisma, one of the many universes on RPG.




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Character Portrait: Attica Ninethorn
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Attica ran along the trunk of the fallen tree and leaped, landing squarely on the slope that dropped sharply down to the stream. Her fingers dug into the leaf litter and made a hand-hold of the red ferns anchored to the soil. Below, the roots of the oak tree above her head seemed to rise to meet her feet and without missing a beat she sprang up onto the ridge at the top of the little hollow. She took a split-second to lightly run her fingertips over the bark of the tree in thanks before she was gone again, ducking and weaving through twisted oaks, slithering down banks and splashing through streams until her lungs burned and her heart drummed so hard she felt dizzy. Still, she continued for another half a mile or so until finally she shimmied up into the branches of an elderly beech and crouched in the fork of its branches, pressing herself close to its heart as she stayed perfectly still and listened for a sign of her pursuers.

Nothing. Even the jumpy redwings in the copse of silver birch to the east were undisturbed, calling out banal chirrups to each other; the ornithological equivalent of small-talk.

After a few minutes of absolute concentration, Attica allowed herself to relax. She must have lost them for good this time. She could only hope her trail had been subtle enough to be picked up by one of their party in the confusion of her escape; perhaps they had a Ranger among them as they seemed to have an uncanny ability to follow her even when she was being so careful not to leave a sign of her passing. Still, they were gone now and nothing, animal or human, could go without sleep for very long. Even if they were tracking her, they were in an unfamiliar place and the light was rapidly fading into the grey-lilac of dusk. They would make camp and Attica would use those precious hours gain a head-start in the darkness of night.

If she were to do that, however, she would have to eat. There were no berries out at this time of year and game would need cooking- she could scarcely afford to make a fire and alert them to her presence now. Roots, beaten into digestibility against a rock, would have to do. If she was lucky, she might also find a few dockleaves down at the edge of the tree-line...

Silently, she dropped down onto the earth at the base of the beech and out of the bracken trotted the grey fox that had taken to following her over the past few days. She quirked at eyebrow at it and it looked back at her before shaking down its fur and darting across the clearing into the undergrowth where it crouched, waiting for an intruder. It would give her warning if they had somehow tracked her down and managed to elude the usually-alert natural watchmen of the forest.

Twenty minute later, Attica had found something that would make her quest for food that much easier. At the tree-line, a dozen or so travellers had set up camp and strains of music and the smell of smoke (and food) drifted back towards the tree-line. Night had fallen now and it had taken little effort to lay her hands on the horses to lull them back into security when they tossed their heads at the sign of her intrusion then creep up to the edge of the make-shift canvas tents. The travellers themselves were at the centre of the little circle, milling around a roaring fire and talking amongst themselves. Though she was not concentrating on the conversation, snatches of it- both friendly and antagonistic- filtered back to her. She didn't bother to attempt to move closer and glimpse them properly. She didn't care what they looked like. All she cared about was their supplies, some of which were slowly simmering over the fire and the rest, presumably, were hidden beneath the canvas.

Choosing the tent which looked of the highest quality, she crawled up to it through the grass and, careful to keep it between her and the people milling about around the fire, silently made a slit in its base with one of her knives. Carefully drawing the canvas flap back, she crept inside.